Differences in Rat and Mouse Behavior

Though they are both classified as rodents and share many characteristics, there are some major behavioral differences between rats and mice. Understanding these differences will help as you are trying to get rid of them and keep them away for good.

Feeding Behavior

Both rats and mice are opportunistic and will eat what is available in their environment. That being said, their preferences are different, as well as their eating styles. Mice are voracious eaters. They will return to nibble on a food source many times (up to 20-30 visits) during a night. The heaviest feedings usually occur at dawn or dusk. Mice prefer to eat grains and seeds, though meat, nut butters, and sweet items are not off the menu. They typically do not need much water because the majority of it can come from their food sources.

Rats generally eat most of their food in one sitting. The larger Norway rat prefers to live off of protein and carbohydrate heavy food, but these rats are not picky creatures and will eat nearly anything, including sewage. The smaller roof rat is more picky. Roof rats tend to eat more like mice, preferring grains, fruits, nuts, and sweets. Since rats are bigger creatures, they require more water than mice and may enter homes in search of it.

Preferred Habitat

Both rats and mice are known to live in close association with humans, but their preferred habitats are different. Mice are regular inhabitants of homes and will commonly nest indoors. Mouse nests can often be found in wall voids, closets, under or in appliances, and inside storage boxes. They will use many things found in homes to create their nests, including: insulation, hair, chewed up paper, etc. A mouse may spend its whole life indoors.

Rats may venture indoors to find food and water, but the majority of them live in outdoor burrows and nests. Norway rats live in or close to the ground. They are excellent swimmers, so they may frequent sewers and areas near lakes or rivers. Roof rats are great climbers, so they can be found in trees and may find their way into attics.

Interaction with the Environment

Mice and rats have different “personalities” and will interact with the world in slightly different ways. Mice are curious creatures. They like to explore new things. This makes it easier to trap mice. For example, a mouse will not hesitate to investigate a new trap that has been set.

Rats, on the other hand, are generally wary of new things and much more cautious. They do not readily approach new items in their territory, which may make them more difficult to trap and bait. When dealing with rats, it is often helpful to place unset traps in the areas that they live and travel. After the rats have gotten familiar with the traps and are less cautious, you can then set the traps and hopefully have success.

Sunshine Coast Rodent Control

Rodent control is most effective when it uses a combination of different methods including: sanitation, exclusion, baiting, and trapping. If you are unsure how to proceed, contact the experts at Radar Pest Control. Our trained technicians understand the behavior of rats and mice and use that knowledge to customize a plan to help you get rid of the rodents for good. For pest control in Nambour or pest control in Buderim, trust Radar Pest Control to get the job done right.

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